How Do I Design My True Goal

By Sandra Colhando, PCC

True Goal

Along my coaching journey, I realized the importance of setting a ‘true’ goal versus the ‘right’ goal at an early stage of a coaching engagement. In my professional coaching assignments, I start with understanding the organization (sponsor’s) overall goal and then move on to the individual’s goal. I insist on co-creating it with the coachee (person who will be coached). It only makes sense since at the end of the day they will be talking, owning, actioning and sometimes ‘breathing’ them (most sessions of mine starts with ‘breathing’ in the client’s values, life purpose, goals) with their coach for the next few months!

While that is done, I still go through a process of Goal screening in the first couple of sessions. This process of unravelling and shifting through the goals, breaking them down, invokes an initial level of self-discovery for my clients. At first I find the goals are something that ‘sounds good’ and objective but (emotionally) distant. It seems the ‘right’ goal to pick!

In one of my coaching sessions with a client who is a leader transitioning into a larger role had practically the organisation’s goal as his. Now that is not a bad deal, as long as that’s what you passionately want to achieve.

How do I get to the ‘true’ goal?

I try to derive the ‘true’ goal through various methods; first and foremost by conducting a ‘Foundation session’. I believe that is the ‘heart’ and the ‘center’ of this entire engagement (quite often the ‘heart’ of the client as well!) The Foundation session is a self-discovery process that connects the client to their core values and their life purpose. It’s a self-discovery because most often clients connect to their authentic self for the first time here! Once this is done, we go back to the goals. This time I use self-reflecting questions to help my clients to discover their ‘true’ goal.

“Is this goal in alignment to your values and life purpose?”

One of my clients had a goal to create a future plan in a particular department. He had signed up for it with his supervisor (so called co-created it with him). During the foundation session and discussions after, it was clear that his natural talents were not in alignment to that goal. It was something he was not passionate about and therefore subconsciously kept procrastinating it until his supervisor called it out as a goal with the external coach (convenient!).

As we dug deeper and explored his passion & interests it percolated in defining a ‘new’ goal. His creative juices started to flow and like a gushing river that nourishes the plants on its banks, he began to create innovative solutions to work on his ‘dis-passionate’ goal. At the end of it he was re-charged and felt accomplished.

Another question from which I have personally learnt a lot as a coach is – ‘Which part of my ‘inside’ does this goal enhance?’

By ‘inside’ I mean, will it help me work on any fear that I was nurturing/ sidelining? Will it help me discover/showcase my potential? Will it help me grow spiritually and ethically? Does it touch the most important element of my life?

If the answer is a clear yes, I recommend writing it down in complete detail. The clearer the goal description -the more precise the outcome and the more efficient the subconscious mind will become to enable you to make it happen. Together they bring the combined force to create the solutions within the ‘resourceful’ you!

Transactional versus Transformational Goal

I had heard someone tell me this once – “Transformation as a process is Exciting in the beginning, Messy and Confusing in Between and Beautiful at the end!”

I believe this to be true for enabling my coachees to identify the true (transformational) goals. And while it’s a lot more “messy” and “confusing” to get to the transformational goal – it’s much more meaningful than sticking to the first thing that emerges i.e. the transactional goal.

A ‘true’ goal needs to transcend the objective, otherwise it’s a task, another checklist to ‘speak up in leadership meetings’, ‘engage your team’, ‘have the crucial conversations with your peers’, ‘exercise daily’ etc etc ….you get the drift!

A True Goal needs to be an inspiration to you! Does it call out to the superior self in you to push the boundaries of fear, limitations, risk and courage? What does it say about the kind person you are? Imagine what you can BE! Have this conversation with yourself and you will know your True (Transformational) Goal.

I sign off with my favorite line (which incidentally I got engraved on my notebook) – “I compare myself only to my Highest SELF.”

 

About the Author

SandraSandra Colhando, PCC, is a Leadership Coach with over 17 years of experience in helping people and organizations attain maximum effectiveness. She realized her passion a few ago and co-founded TransforME Learning & Leadership Solutions – a successful people development firm focused on enabling personal transformation through their “Inside-Out” philosophy. Sandra’s background includes working with senior leaders, entrepreneurs and women executives from small private companies to large Fortune 500 organisations.

 

Discover Your Wheel of Life’s HMA

Discover Your Wheel of Life’s HMA

By Jaya Bhateja, PCC

 

During a session, I asked my client to select two essential areas that she would like to focus on in the Wheel of Life. She selected Personal Growth and Work & Career. She said Personal Growth was more important but while listing the things she wished to do in that area she switched to Work & Career and started talking about that instead. I see this pattern in most of my clients.

 

I call this the High Magnetic Area (HMA). There is one HMA among the 8 areas of wheel of life (career/work, Financial Security Money, Relationships/Romance, Physical / Environment, Health/Wellbeing, Family/Friends, Fun/Recreation, Personal Growth) which carries most importance. This area attracts maximum of your attention and does not let you rest or focus on other areas till the time you address its need. For most people HMA is work.

 

Interestingly, HMAs have the habit of forming tough habits so if your work is your HMA, it will command maximum of your time, whether or not you are productive. This happens sub-consciously and that’s why some people are called workaholic while their productivity remains questionable.

 

Consequences of being slave to your HMA can be:

  • Less satisfaction in other areas of life
  • Ineffective performance at work despite long hours
  • Ineffective leadership
  • Feeling of being stretched too thin
  • Feeling that only one area that’s flourishing for time being or maybe none
  • Boredom, disinterest and disengagement from other areas of wheel
  • Difficulty in achievement of goals
  • Feeling of disillusionment, anxiousness, stress and burnout
  • Abundance of excuses like “I don’t have time”

“I have so much of work”, “ Work is demanding” “You don’t understand my job”

 

You can identify your HMA and change it

 

HMAs are mostly the areas very tightly connected to your self-worth. At the risk of gender stereotyping, I bring you two examples. These are mere scenarios to help you understand this better:

 

For Men the HMA is work most of the times, making them spend long hours at work. But there are examples of successful men who leave their jobs and pick up new, interesting careers, associate with charities, focus on hobbies, write or travel. Their HMA has shifted from outside of them to inside of them.

 

With shift in lifestyles women have started drawing their self worth from working, earning, achieving accolades and hence their HMA too is work. However, there are times when successful and professional women opt to stay at home for their children. It is because as a mother, their HMA changes and they find maximum self worth in that role.

 

When people find self-worth somewhere else, or less and less reward from the present  they start looking at other areas of wheel of life. Often with life-changing events, a realization that HMAs have limited satisfaction sets in.

 

How is your Wheel of Life?

 

While the wheel of life is to denote the balance in all these areas, in effort to prioritise, we allow a few areas to take bottom rank and the ones that are unavoidable become HMAs. But while you are at it, contemplate whether your HMAs are really making a difference or are they purposelessly draining all your energy?

 

I am not asking you to de-prioritize finance, work or family. All I am saying is that let’s treat the wheel as wheel and not as line if you really want to extract maximum juice from your life.

 

Ask your self:

  • What are the ingredients of your self-worth? (Is it only work, family and money)
  • Looking at a long term and holistic picture of your life, what all you want your self-worth to consist?

 

Ways to widen your self-worth wheel:

  • Be more productive and complete your work at office so you can keep your time and mind free.
  • Identify your hobbies and interest and make time for them at least once a week
  • Review your financial goals with a professional and tie them neatly with your work. Clarity brings focus.
  • Touch each area of wheel at least once a week to keep wheel of life moving.

 

 

About the Author:jaya

Jaya Bhateja has been invested in learning and implementing coaching for more than 6 years for senior leaders and entrepreneurs. She finds joy in seeing people reach their best potential. She holds the PCC credential and currently practices in Gurgaon.

How Full Is Your Cup?

How Full Is Your Cup?

tea cup

By Sushil Jhangiani

 

There was a time, not long ago, when if someone had asked me to describe how I felt, I would probably have said dissatisfied. Today, if someone were to ask me the same question, the most likely answer would be happy. This is the story of that change, and what made it happen. I’m putting it down as a blog post because if you are anywhere near discontented with any aspect of your life (and my work tells me many people are!), then this is an invitation to you to come over to the side of happiness and contentment.

 

Many years ago, in an introductory class on economics in school, I remember being taught that human want was the basic driver of all progress. I didn’t understand what it meant at that time, but now looking back, I can see that it’s quite a profound truth. As human beings, we constantly want more; we’re usually discontented with our current state. While all of us tend to be dissatisfied with the status quo to different extents, some of us question it, and decide to change it, and progress occurs. This is the basis of all invention and discovery- from fire down to the internet.

 

While some proactive and brilliant types may roll up their sleeves and decide to make things better by doing things differently, or inventing something or the other, what about the vast majority of us mere mortals ? We’re mostly left with a vague sense of dissatisfaction, which dogs us like a subtle shadow. We occasionally try and shake it off by bringing some variety in our lives, nowadays mostly through investing in a new experience or gizmo, but this is temporary. After a few days or weeks, the shadow returns.

 

And so it was with me. On the face of it, there wasn’t much I was lacking- I do work I like to do, largely on my own terms, I have a very loving and supportive family, I have some very good friends, financially I’m OK. But there it was; this vague dissatisfaction with what I had, and no idea of how to get over it. This was the middle of 2014; I had been meditating for a while, and in this context I began reading some books on Buddhism. And out of these emerged one great insight:

the dissatisfaction I feel is because I don’t value what I have.

 

I must tell you that this wasn’t one great revelation that flashed upon me and left me blinded and breathless. Far from it. It gently came to me- in fact so gently that I don’t even remember when exactly the insight came about, but there it was. And as with all insights, when it did come about, it looked blindingly obvious. And also, as with all insights, the question was- what do I do now ?

 

I knew as a coach how difficult change can be, so the task was obviously not an easy one. I also knew that I had to work on my mindset, and not just artificially boost myself- I had to begin valuing what I had from inside. And I know well from my work as a coach that if a change program is complicated, it doesn’t last, and more importantly it doesn’t work.

 

One night, I was unable to sleep, and while lying awake I decided to make a mental list of all the things I had that I needed to value. I began with the obvious ones- family, friends, work. These would naturally have come out on top, because we tend to value them- maybe not consistently, but we know they’re valuable. But once these were done, I pushed myself more, and started moving towards things I really took for granted- for example, my warm bed (it was a cold Delhi winter night!), the fact that I could wear clean clothes every day, the fact that there was electricity in my home ! Somewhere along this listing I fell asleep, but when I woke up, I knew there was something there.

 

This listing exercise eventually got converted to my secret sauce to value what we have:

 

Right before going to sleep (after turning the lights off) enunciate three things you are grateful for- and push yourself to particularly think of things you might completely take for granted. And- find a new set of things to be grateful for every night.

 

At first it just felt good to acknowledge all the things in my life, but after a few weeks I noticed how things were changing. I was complaining less, I was more appreciative of others, and I was certainly not dissatisfied with my lot- in fact there were many times in the day when thoughts of gratefulness would just pop up all on their own ! It’s been two years now, and the ritual of acknowledging three things to be grateful for every night is now automatic, but the impact has been completely transformational. I’m more happy and appreciative of what I have, not dissatisfied at all, and from a reasonably pessimistic person, I’ve moved to becoming an optimist- mostly looking at possibilities rather that pitfalls.

 

All this is fairly life changing, and hence this blog. I don’t like to normally write about myself (I find it unnecessarily pompous) but here is something that I want to share, and I hope you will find useful. I’d like to invite you to take this forward in your own life. Even if you’re not discontented with your lot, we can all do with being more grateful, so go ahead. Give it a shot for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

 

And if you decide to take this forward in your own life, let me know how you get on, and someday we can share notes over a cup of coffee, and talk about how life’s cup is always more full than empty- for everyone !

About the Author

Sushil JhangianiSushil Jhangiani is a senior executive coach and leadership development facilitator based in Gurgaon. Sushil coaches and works with C-suite leaders across domains in the areas of developing leadership and personal effectiveness, enunciating organisational and individual vision, purpose and legacy, and living values and behaviours.